Vol. 14, No. 2 May 2010
Taking Care of Children's Health
North Carolina county departments of social services are responsible for making sure children in foster care are safe and well until they can return home.
On a day-to-day basis, however, foster parents and kinship caregivers are the leaders when it comes to meeting children’s health and wellness needs. This can be a huge commitment, because as a group, children in foster care have a great many health, mental health, dental, and developmental needs.
Indeed, researchers have concluded that children in foster care have more health problems than any other group in America, including children who are homeless and those living in the poorest parts of inner cities (sources cited in Grayson, 2003).
Yet no matter what their children’s needs are, relative caregivers and foster parents step up to do what must be done. They take children to counseling and medical appointments, learn how to care for them when they are sick, feed them nutritious food, and do everything they can to help them grow up healthy and strong.
Yet just like DSS agencies, they can’t do it all themselves. To meet children’s needs they need supportive partners.
If you’re caring for a child in foster care, your main source of support must be your supervising agency. Other sources of information and support include birth parents, doctors, nutritionists, and health and mental health-focused organizations.
This issue of Fostering Perspectives will connect you with information to help you care for the children in your lives.
Copyright © 2010 Jordan Institute for Families